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eBay For Dummies, 6th Edition

eBay For Dummies, 6th Edition

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by Marsha Collier


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Book Details
 Price
 2.00 USD
 Pages
 411 p
 File Size
 9,176 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 ISBN
 978-0-470-49741-8
 Copyright   
 2009 by Wiley Publishing, Inc 

About the Author
Marsha Collier spends a good deal of time on eBay. She loves buying and
selling (she’s a PowerSeller with her own eBay store) as well as meeting eBay
users from around the world. As a columnist, an author of three bestselling
books on eBay, and an invited lecturer at eBay Live, she shares her knowledge
of eBay with millions of online sellers. eBay For Dummies is published
in special versions for the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, and Australia.
Currently, she has 15 books in print on her favorite subject — eBay.
Before her eBay career took off, Marsha owned and operated her own marketing
and advertising fi rm, a company that won numerous awards and
earned her “Small Business of the Year” accolades from several organizations.
She got started with eBay during the site’s early years and quickly mastered
the art of buying and reselling for profi t.

Marsha is one of the foremost eBay experts and educators in the world and
the top-selling eBay author. In 1999 Marsha created the fi rst edition of eBay For
Dummies, the bestselling book for eBay beginners. She followed up the success
of the fi rst book with Starting an eBay Business For Dummies, a book targeting
individuals interested in making e-commerce their full-time profession. That
book became an instant nationwide hit, making several notable bestseller lists.
These books are updated regularly to keep up with site and market changes.
Marsha’s books have sold over 1,000,000 copies (including the special editions
in foreign countries — two in Australia, two in Canada, and two in the
United Kingdom — as well as translations in Spanish, French, Italian, Chinese and German).

Along with her writing, Marsha is an experienced e-commerce educator. She
was the lead instructor at eBay University (teaching seminars all over the
United States), as well as a regular presenter at the eBay Live national convention
since its inception. Marsha also hosted “Make Your Fortune Online,”
a PBS special on online business that premiered in 2005. The show was the
basis for her PBS premium fi ve DVD set, “Your Online Business Plan.” In 2006,
she was invited to address the Innovations Conference in Singapore to present
the ideas of e-commerce to a new market. In 2008, she was dubbed one
of twenty infl uential iCitizens in Kelly Mooney’s The Open Brand: When Push
Comes to Pull in a Web Made World, and was invited to speak at a leading
e-commerce conference attended by Coca-Cola, Hewlett Packard, Procter &
Gamble, Victoria’s Secret, and leading e-commerce leaders.

During the holiday season, she does several national satellite media tours
to explain the safety of shopping online. She hosts Computer & Technology
Radio on KTRB 860 AM in San Francisco as well as on the Web at www.computerandtechnologyradio.com. She also makes regular appearances
on television, radio, and in print to discuss customer needs and online commerce.
Marsha currently resides in Los Angeles, CA. She can be reached via her Web

Introduction
Welcome to eBay For Dummies, 6th Edition! Thanks for opening up this
book. This is the newly updated version of the original best-selling
eBay how-to guide, first published in 1999. Heed my words and you may
soon be joining the millions of people interested in learning the no-nonsense
facts about eBay from an active user. I’m a longtime eBay shopper and
PowerSeller. My original career was in retail marketing and for over 10 years
I’ve been making money on the site. (I even put my daughter through college
on my profits!) I work from home and apply my background successfully to
all facets of the site.

I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am that my enthusiasm and excitement
for shopping and selling on eBay has spread to so many corners of the world.
eBay users (like you and I) total close to 200 million — that’s quite a community.
It’s a community of buyers who don’t feel the need to scour the streets
for items to buy and of sellers who forage wholesale items to sell online and
make a few dollars (or a full-time living). This makes eBay the new international
marketplace, and the best part is that eBay is available to anyone who
wants to take the time to figure out how it works.

My books are written sequentially, and this is the one to start with if you’re a
beginner. eBay For Dummies will give you the solid foundation you need to go
on to my other, more advanced books on eBay selling.

eBay is a constantly evolving Web site. It isn’t too hard to master, but just
as with any tool, when you know the ins and outs, you’re ahead of the game.
You can get the deals when you shop, and you can make the most money
when you sell. You’ve come to the right place to find out all about eBay.

This book is designed to help you understand the basics about buying and
selling on eBay, the most successful person-to-person trading community.
Without the basics, you can’t be successful in any endeavor. You get all the
tools you need to get moving on eBay, whether you’re new to the Internet or
a Webaholic. You see how to turn your everyday household clutter into cold,
hard cash — and how to look for items that you can sell on eBay. If you’re an
online shopper (or you’d like to be), I show you how to figure out how much
you should spend, how to make smart bids, and how to win the auctions.

How much money you earn (or spend) depends entirely on how often and
how smartly you conduct your eBay transactions. You decide how often you
want to run auctions and place bids; I’m here to help with the smart part by
sharing tips I’ve learned over my past ten years on eBay.

A Web site as complex as eBay has many nooks and crannies that may
confuse users. Think of this book as a detailed road map that can help you
navigate eBay, getting just as much or as little as you want from it. Unlike an
actual road map, however, you won’t get frustrated folding it back to its original
shape. Just close the book and come back anytime you need a question answered.

After you figure out the nuts and bolts of eBay, you can start buying and selling
stuff. I have a ton of terrific buying and selling strategies that help you get
the most out of your auctions. With this book and a little elbow grease, you
can join the ranks of the millions of people who use their home computers
to make friends, find great deals, have a lot of fun, and make a profit. When
you’ve got the hang of eBay and feel that it’s time to graduate from this book,
look for my Starting an eBay Business For Dummies, 3rd Edition (Wiley) — it’ll
take you to the next plateau.

Table of Contents
Introduction ................................................................. 1
About This Book ..............................................................................................2
Foolish Assumptions .......................................................................................3
How This Book Is Organized ..........................................................................3
Part I: Getting a Feel for eBay ...............................................................4
Part II: Buying Like an Expert ...............................................................4
Part III: Making Money the eBay Way ..................................................4
Part IV: Even More of eBay’s Special Features ...................................4
Part V: The Part of Tens ........................................................................5
Icons Used in This Book .................................................................................5
What Now? ........................................................................................................6
Feedback, Please ..............................................................................................6
Part I: Getting a Feel for eBay
Chapter 1: Why You’re Going to Love Your Time on eBay
What Is eBay, and How Does It Work? ........................................................10
All about Auctions .........................................................................................12
eBay auctions .......................................................................................13
Reserve-price auctions ........................................................................13
Restricted-access auctions .................................................................13
Private (shhh-it’s-a-secret) listings ....................................................14
Buying It Now on eBay ..................................................................................14
eBay Stores ...........................................................................................15
Buy It Now and fi xed-price sales ........................................................15
So You Wanna Sell Stuff ................................................................................15
So You Wanna Buy Stuff ...............................................................................16
Research for Fun and Profi t .........................................................................16
eBay’s Role in the Action ..............................................................................16
Features and Fun Stuff ..................................................................................17
Chatting it up ........................................................................................17
Trust & Safety .......................................................................................18
Extra Gizmos You’re Gonna Want ...............................................................18
Chapter 2: Ready, Set, Go: Signing Up on eBay
Registering on eBay .......................................................................................19
Registering Is Free, Fun, and Fast ................................................................20
Like, what’s your sign? Filling in required information ..................21
Do you solemnly swear to . . . ? ..........................................................23
It must be true if you have it in writing .............................................24
Getting to know you: Optional information ......................................25
A Quick Word about Passwords ..................................................................26
A Not-So-Quick Word about Choosing a User ID .......................................27
Your License to Deal (Almost) .....................................................................29
Chapter 3: You Can Go Home — Again and Again!
What Is the Home Page? ...............................................................................31
Sign In, Please .................................................................................................33
This Bar Never Closes ...................................................................................34
Exploring Your Home Page Search Options ...............................................39
Peering through the home page search box ....................................40
Going where the Advanced Search link takes you ..........................40
Home Links, the Next Generation ................................................................42
Maneuvering through Categories ................................................................43
Going Global ...................................................................................................45
Using the Seller’s Items Links ......................................................................45
Charities ..........................................................................................................46
Promotion du Jour .........................................................................................46
Bottoming Out ................................................................................................47
Chapter 4: My Very Own, Private eBay
Getting to Your My eBay Page .....................................................................50
Keeping Track of Your Personal Business .................................................52
Checking your account information ..................................................53
Choosing your notifi cation preferences ...........................................54
Your Feedback link ..............................................................................56
Account links ........................................................................................56
Understanding Your Seller Dashboard .......................................................58
Using the Resolution Center ........................................................................58
Organizing in the Organize Area ..................................................................59
Saved searches .....................................................................................60
Saved sellers .........................................................................................61
Following the Action on Your Buying and Watching Pages .....................62
Seeing the Items I’m Buying ................................................................62
Keeping track of Items I’ve Won ........................................................62
Sleuthing with Items I’m Watching ....................................................63
Surveying Your Sales on Your My eBay Selling Page ................................64
Your Sell page .......................................................................................64
Your Sold page .....................................................................................64
eBay’s Selling Manager/Selling Manager Pro....................................66
Keeping Track of Your Transactions ..........................................................66
Getting and Giving Feedback .......................................................................67
How to get positive feedback .............................................................69
How to get negative feedback ............................................................70
The Feedback page ..............................................................................71
Reading your feedback ........................................................................73
You have the last word — responding to feedback ........................73
Leaving feedback with fi nesse ............................................................74
Part II: Buying Like an Expert 
Chapter 5: Seek and You Shall Find: Research
General Online Tips for Collectors ..............................................................80
The experts speak out .........................................................................80
Go, Joe: Following an expert on the hunt .........................................82
Making the grade .................................................................................83
Finding More Research Information ............................................................85
Searching sites online .........................................................................85
Finding other sources of information................................................87
Looking to Find an Item? Start Your eBay Search Engine ........................87
Using the Search page .........................................................................89
Using the Advanced Search page.......................................................92
A seller search ......................................................................................94
A bidder search ....................................................................................98
Shortcuts for a Quick eBay search ....................................................98
Finding eBay Members: The Gang’s All Here ...........................................100
Chapter 6: Shopping eBay: The Basics
The Item Listing Page ..................................................................................103
Beating the Devil in the Details ..................................................................111
Read the item description carefully ................................................111
Get the scoop on the seller ...............................................................112
Factoring in the Extras ................................................................................115
Payment methods ..............................................................................115
Using an escrow service ...................................................................117
Shipping and insurance costs ..........................................................118
Placing Your Bid on an Auction .................................................................119
Bidding to the Max: Proxy Bidding ............................................................121
Specialized Auction Categories .................................................................123
eBay Motors........................................................................................123
eBay Stores .........................................................................................124
The Agony (?) of Buyer’s Remorse ............................................................125
Retracting your bid ............................................................................126
Avoiding deadbeat (non-paying bidder) status .............................128
Chapter 7: Power-Buying Strategies
Make an Offer! ..............................................................................................129
Find Out an Item’s Bidding History ...........................................................130
Get to Know the Other Bidders .................................................................131
Strategies to Help You Outsmart the Competition .................................133
Time Is Money: Auction Strategy by the Clock ........................................135
Using a laid-back strategy .................................................................137
Using the beat-the-clock strategy ....................................................138
Chapter 8: After You Win the Item
eBay Calling: You’re a Winner ....................................................................143
Getting Your Paperwork Together ............................................................144
Getting Contact Information ......................................................................146
So, What’s Your Number? ...........................................................................146
Checking Out ................................................................................................147
Communicating with the Seller ..................................................................148
Sending the Payment Promptly and Securely ..........................................149
Using PayPal, a person-to-person payment service ......................150
Keeping in Touch: Dealing with an AWOL Seller .....................................151
You Get the Item . . . Uh-Oh What’s This? ................................................152
Filing to Get a Refund through PayPal ......................................................153
Don’t Forget to Leave Feedback ................................................................154
Properly Giving the Seller’s Detailed Star Rating (DSRs) .......................154
Part III: Making Money the eBay Way
Chapter 9: Selling in Your Bunny Slippers for Fun and Profit
Why Should You Sell Stuff on eBay? ..........................................................159
Finding Stuff to Sell ......................................................................................161
Know When to Sell .......................................................................................163
Know Thy Stuff .............................................................................................164
Getting the goods on your goods ....................................................164
Spy versus spy: Comparison selling ................................................165
Know What You Can (and Can’t) Sell ........................................................167
Prohibited items ................................................................................169
Infringing items ..................................................................................171
Questionable items: Know the laws ................................................173
Forbidden items .................................................................................174
Reporting a Problem Listing ......................................................................175
VeRO to the Rescue .....................................................................................175
eBay Fees? What eBay Fees? Oops . . . ......................................................176
Insertion fees ......................................................................................177
Final value fees ...................................................................................178
Optional fees.......................................................................................181
Keep current on your profi ts ............................................................183
Uncle Sam Wants You — to Pay Your Taxes ...........................................183
Two wild rumors about federal taxes .............................................184
State sales tax .....................................................................................186
State income taxes .............................................................................186
Chapter 10: Time to Sell: Completing the Cyber Paperwork
Getting Ready to List Your Item ................................................................188
Examining the Sell an Item Page ................................................................189
Filling in the Required Blanks ....................................................................192
Selecting a category ...........................................................................192
Creating the perfect item title ..........................................................195
Writing your description...................................................................198
Listing the number of items for sale ................................................202
Setting a starting price — how low can you go? ............................202
Buy It Now ...........................................................................................203
Setting your auction time..................................................................204
Your secret safety net — reserve price ..........................................205
I want to be alone: the private auction ...........................................206
Put me in the Gallery .........................................................................207
Filling out the item location ..............................................................207
A picture is worth a thousand words ..............................................207
Listing Designer..................................................................................208
Listing the payment methods you’ll accept ...................................208
Setting shipping terms ......................................................................209
eBay Options: Getting Eyes on Your Item ................................................210
Checking Your Work and Starting the Auction ........................................212
Midcourse Corrections: Fixing Current Listings ......................................214
Making changes before bidding begins ...........................................214
Making changes after bidding begins ..............................................215
Chapter 11: Save Gas — Drive Your Mouse to an eBay Store
Unlimited Shopping from the Stores Page ...............................................219
Conducting an eBay Stores search ..................................................219
Browsing the store categories .........................................................220
Selling from Your Own Virtual Storefront ................................................221
Paying the landlord ...........................................................................222
Opening your eBay store ..................................................................223
Chapter 12: Closing the Deal and Shipping It Out 
Bookkeeping and Staying Organized .........................................................225
Talking to Buyers: The ABCs of Good Communication ..........................228
Thank you — I mean it ......................................................................229
Let’s keep e-mailing ...........................................................................231
Shipping without Going Postal ...................................................................231
Shopping for a shipper ......................................................................233
Getting the right (packing) stuff ......................................................239
Buying Postage Online ................................................................................245
Preparing Postage with Endicia .................................................................246
Shipping Directly from PayPal ...................................................................247
Chapter 13: Troubleshooting Transactions 
Dealing with a Buyer Who Doesn’t Respond ............................................249
Going into nudge mode .....................................................................250
Do a little sleuthing ............................................................................251
Stepping things up a notch ...............................................................253
Other Possible Auction Problems .............................................................254
The buyer backs out of the transaction ..........................................254
The item you send is busted — and so are you .............................257
You have regrets — seller’s remorse ..............................................259
Auction Going Badly? Cut Your Losses ....................................................259
Try canceling bids fi rst .....................................................................259
Blocking bidders ................................................................................261
If all else fails, end your listing early ...............................................261
Filing for a fi nal value fee credit .......................................................262
Déjà vu — relisting your item ...........................................................265
Chapter 14: Increase Your Profi ts with Pictures
and Other Strategies
Using Images in Your Auctions ..................................................................269
Choosing a digital camera ................................................................270
Choosing a scanner ...........................................................................272
Making Your Picture a Thing of Beauty ....................................................273
Get it on camera .................................................................................273
Use traditional photos? Yes, I scan .................................................275
Software that adds the artist’s touch ..............................................276
Making Your Images Web-Friendly ............................................................277
The Image Is Perfect — Now What? ..........................................................278
Using an ISP to store your images ...................................................279
Using image-hosting Web sites to store images.............................280
Using eBay’s Picture Services ..........................................................280
eBay’s Gallery .....................................................................................282
Putting on the Hits .......................................................................................283
Blog on Your My World Page .....................................................................286
Part IV: Even More of eBay’s Special Features
Chapter 15: Privacy: To Protect and to Serve
What eBay Knows about You .....................................................................291
What you tell eBay .............................................................................292
What cookies gather ..........................................................................292
Your eBay sign-in cookie...................................................................293
Web beacons ......................................................................................294
What Web servers collect .................................................................294
Cookie removal-ware .........................................................................295
eBay’s privacy policy ........................................................................296
What Does eBay Do with Information about Me, Anyway? ....................298
What Do Other eBay Members Know about Me? ....................................299
Spam — Not Just a Hawaiian Delicacy ......................................................299
Sending spam versus eating it ..........................................................300
Trashing your junk mail ....................................................................301
E-mail spoofi ng ...................................................................................301
I Vant to Be Alone — and Vat You Can Do to Stay That Vay .................302
Chapter 16: Staying Safe and Sane
Keeping eBay Safe with Trust & Safety .....................................................307
Abuses You Should Report to Trust & Safety ..........................................309
Selling abuses .....................................................................................309
Bidding abuses ...................................................................................310
Feedback abuses ................................................................................310
Identity abuses ...................................................................................311
Operational abuses ............................................................................312
Miscellaneous abuses........................................................................312
Reporting Abuses to Trust & Safety ..........................................................312
Stuff eBay Won’t Do Anything About ........................................................316
Knowing the Deeds That Can Get You Suspended ..................................318
Getting Buyer Protection ............................................................................319
eBay Motors Vehicle Protection Program ......................................319
PayPal Buyer Protection ...................................................................319
BuySAFE bond ....................................................................................320
SquareTrade warranties ...................................................................321
Launching a Fraud Report ..........................................................................321
Getting the Real Deal? Authentication and Appraising ..........................322
ID Verify ........................................................................................................324
If It’s Clearly Fraud ......................................................................................326
Chapter 17: The eBay Community: 
Joining In with Other eBay Members
News and Chat, This and That ...................................................................330
Making eBay Your World ............................................................................331
Hear Ye, Hear Ye! eBay’s Announcements Boards ..................................332
Help! I Need Somebody ...............................................................................333
Community Chat Rooms .............................................................................334
User-to-User Discussion Boards ................................................................335
Other Chat Rooms (Message Boards) ......................................................335
Café society ........................................................................................336
Holiday Chat Room ............................................................................336
Giving Works Board ...........................................................................336
The eBay Friends from All Over discussion Board .......................336
Category-Specifi c Chat Boards ..................................................................337
eBay Groups .................................................................................................337
Blog It on eBay .............................................................................................338
Chapter 18: eBay’s Fun Features
Truly Righteous Stuff for Charity ...............................................................339
eBay Giving Works .............................................................................340
Creative charity auctions ..................................................................341
And Now for Our Feature Presentation ....................................................342
Member specials ................................................................................342
Who’s minding The eBay Shop? .......................................................343
eBay’s Saved Searches e-mail service .............................................344
Getting Free Calls over the Internet with Skype ......................................345
Part V: The Part of Tens
Chapter 19: Ten (or So) Golden Rules
for eBay Buyers and Sellers
Buyer: Investigate Your Treasure Before You Buy .................................350
Buyer: Check the Seller’s Feedback ..........................................................350
Buyer: Understand Post-Auction Charges and Payment Methods ........350
Buyer: Check the Price Tag and Bid Wisely .............................................351
Buyer: Be a Good Buyer Bee ......................................................................351
Buyer: Cover Your Assets ...........................................................................352
Seller: Know Your Stuff ...............................................................................352
Seller: Polish and Shine ...............................................................................352
Seller: Picture-Perfect Facts .......................................................................353
Seller: Communication Is Key ....................................................................353
Seller: Be a Buyer’s Dream .........................................................................353
Seller: Listen to the Music ..........................................................................354
Buyers and Sellers: Keep Current, Keep Cool ..........................................354
Chapter 20: Ten (or So) Programs and Services to Ease
Your Way on eBay
Online Services ............................................................................................356
Auctiva ................................................................................................356
InkFrog.................................................................................................357
Vendio and Vendio Stores ................................................................358
Buyitsellit Stores ................................................................................359
Fast Photos .........................................................................................359
BidRobot .............................................................................................359
Software for Offl ine Use ..............................................................................360
Auction Wizard 2000 ..........................................................................360
Shooting Star ......................................................................................361
eBay’s Software and Services .....................................................................361
eBay’s Free Turbo Lister ...................................................................361
Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro .......................................362
eBay PowerSellers program .............................................................363
Trading Assistant Program ...............................................................364
Appendix: Finding Stuff to Sell .................................. 365
Knowing the Market ....................................................................................365
Do You Have a Talent? ................................................................................367
Catching Trends in the Media ....................................................................367
In newspapers ....................................................................................367
On television .......................................................................................368
Catch up with youth culture . . ........................................................368
Check out eBay...................................................................................369
Check out magazines .........................................................................369
The Hunt for eBay Inventory ......................................................................370
The goods are out there....................................................................370
Tips for the modest investor ............................................................371
Index ....................................................................... 373

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About This Book
Remember those open-book tests that teachers sprang on you in high
school? Well, sometimes you may feel like eBay pop-quizzes you while you’re
online. Think of eBay For Dummies, 6th Edition, as your open-book-test cheat
sheet with all the answers. You don’t have to memorize anything; just keep
this book handy to help you get over the confusing parts of eBay. Over the
years, some of the top sellers and buyers on the eBay site have visited with
me when I’m at a book signing or teaching at eBay University just to show
me their dog-eared, highlighted, marred copy of an earlier edition of eBay For
Dummies that got them started. This book will do the same for you.
With all that in mind, I’ve divided this book into pertinent sections to help
you find your answers fast. I’ll show you how to
Get online and register on eBay.
Navigate eBay to do just about anything you can think of — search for
items for sale, set up auctions, monitor your transactions, and join the
community circuit.
Bid on and win eBay auctions.
Choose an item to sell, pick the right time for your listing, market it so
that a bunch of bidders see it, and make a nice profit.
Communicate well and close deals without problems, whether you’re a
buyer or a seller.
Handle problems with finesse, should they crop up.
Become a part of a unique community of people who like to collect, buy,
and sell items of just about every type!
Do not adjust your eyes. To protect the privacy of eBay users, screen images
(commonly called screen shots) in this book blur user IDs to protect the innocent
(or not so . . .).

What Now?
Like everything else in the world, eBay changes. Some of the eBay screens
in this book may look slightly different than the ones you see on your home
computer display. That’s just eBay tweaking and improving things on the
site. My job is to arm you with everything you need to know to join the eBay
community and begin conducting transactions. If you hit rough waters, just
look up the problem in the table of contents or index in this book. I either
help you solve it or let you know where to go on eBay for some expert advice.

Although eBay makes its complex Web site as easy to navigate as possible,
you may still need to refer to this book for help. Don’t get frustrated if you
have to keep reviewing topics before you feel completely comfortable trading on eBay.

After all, Albert Einstein once said, “Don’t commit to memory something you
can look up.” (Although I forget when he said that. . . .)

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